Getting back to normal already..?
It doesn’t make sense to pool children together that can pass the China Wuhan Flu to others and then back to their families. It must be that government officials are looking at the age groups of those in question and consider them low-risk in getting ill. That, along with the policy of keeping the younger population from the high-risk older population will supposedly keep the contagion retrained. We shall see.
Coronavirus latest: 450 confirmed cases in Finland, pupils in grades 1-3 can go back to school, ski resorts to close next week
This article includes the latest updates on the novel coronavirus outbreak in Finland.
- The number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in Finland stood at 450 as of Friday afternoon (20.3)
- No coronavirus deaths have been reported in Finland as of Friday
- Govt announces 15 billion euro business support package
- Estonian workers banned from commuting to Finland starting next week
- Finnair set to receive €600m govt bailout
20.3 19:01 Coronavirus cases linked to Lapland, ski resorts to close next week
Finland’s biggest ski resorts announced early closures on Friday after reports of two new coronavirus cases that were linked to resorts in Finnish Lapland. The big Lapland resorts are now to close on Friday 27 March, more than a month earlier than usual.
Reports also emerged that more than 20 doctors in the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS) had to be quarantined after attending an orthopaedic and traumatology training day in Levi, Lapland in early March. A doctor who was diagnosed with coronavirus infection after the trip was present at the event.
20.3 16:59 Revised ruling: Pupils in grade 1-3 can go back to school
Pupils in grades 1-3 — whose parents want to send them back — will be able to go to school, Finland’s education ministry announced on Friday.
The decision reverses an emergency law declaration issued by government last week which said only students in that age group whose parents’ jobs are critical to the functioning of society were allowed to attend school, with the rest to receive tuition remotely.
The Ministry of Education and Culture emphasised that the updated policy does not make it mandatory for young students in that age group to go back to school. The government still recommends distance learning for all — including those in grades 1-3.
The change will take effect on Monday, March 23. Last Wednesday schools across the country closed their doors until 13 April.
20.3 16:15 Number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Finland rise to 450
As of Friday afternoon, there were 450 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus documented in Finland, according to THL, the Institute of Health and Welfare. The infection figure, which is 50 more than it was on Thursday, is based on lab-confirmed data from Finnish health districts collected by the health agency.
THL has previously said that restrictions on testing individuals for coronavirus infections can be seen in the relatively low infection rate and that the actual number of infections could be up to 30 times higher than the official number. The vast majority of infections have so far been detected in the capital region.
So far, no deaths have been attributed to the illness in Finland, while four patients are reportedly receiving intensive care treatment.
20.3 13:07 Govt bans Estonian workers from commuting to Finland
The Finnish government has issued a temporary ban on Estonians commuting to Finland to work — a new coronavirus-related rule that goes into effect on Sunday at midnight.
The ban affects a significant number of Estonians working in Finland’s construction industry.
During a press conference Friday morning, Finnish interior minister Maria Ohisalo said that Estonian workers were very important to Finland and called on as many of the workers as possible to stay in the country.
Ohisalo said that limiting commuting between the countries was a necessary measure to slow down the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, many construction projects in Finland are continuing and losing a number of Estonian workers would have negative effects on the sector, according to the head of the Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries RT, Aleksi Randell, news service STT reports.
20.3 11:35 Marin announces 15 billion euro support package
Finland is to pump 15 billion euros into supporting businesses and employment in an effort to stave off the worst effects of the coming recession.
Finland announced a support package worth some 15 billion euros to try and support businesses and individuals as the economy enters a downturn.
The broad range of measures announced on Friday aim to assist people and businesses suffering from the financial downturn as the coronavirus pandemic strengthens its grip on the world.
The government says the measures amount to some 15 billion euros in support, with some allocated to loan guarantees and some to labour market support.
The package of measures is expected to radically increase state debt in Finland, but Prime Minister Sanna Marin said that was a secondary consideration.
20.3 11:30 Government plans Finnair bailout
Finland is gearing up to grant a state guarantee of up to 600 million euros to national airline Finnair to help the firm weather the economic impacts of the coronavirus epidemic.
The Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy considered granting the guarantee in the form of a statutory pension premium on Thursday, but such a move still requires the approval of MPs.
20.3 11:15 Traveller stuck between Finland and Russia
On the Finnish border a resident of Russia is stuck, after trying to return to Russia after the Russian border closed on Wednesday because of the pandemic. There was a 24 hour delay after Russia closed its border to non-Russians before Finland closed its own frontier, leaving the traveller stranded.
Our story is here.
20.3 9:40 Nurses pay in the spotlight
Today’s press review is up. The stories include news that five people in Finland are in intensive care being treated for coronavirus, a debate about a new pay deal for nurses and the confirmation that Finland remains the happiest country in the world.
You can read the review here.